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The Ten Best Cities for African Americans – Black Enterprise

April 17, 2007 by  
Filed under Health, News

NEW YORK, April 17 / — BLACK ENTERPRISE (BE) today revealed its most recent list of top cities for African Americans as featured in its May 2007 issue. The top picks were culled from more than 2,000 interactive surveys completed on and by editorial staff evaluation. The editors weighed the following criteria as it pertained to African Americans in each city: median household income, percentage of households earning more than $100,000, percentage of businesses owned, percentage of college graduates, unemployment rates, home loan rejections, and homeownership rates.

On this year’s list, the No. 1 city for African Americans is the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, which includes parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland. Residents who enjoy living in our nation’s capital and surrounding region cited the robust job market and top-notch cultural activities as grounds for their overall satisfaction. “The perception of the city has changed. There’s a lot more business development,” says D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. At $404,900, D.C. has the highest median home value of all the cities on BE’s list. Other positive factors: D.C. has the lowest foreclosure rate (0.3%), property taxes, and sales tax (5.75%) among the top 10. Survey respondents are very dissatisfied with the quality of education, however, stating that the public schools are in desperate need of repair. Ironically, the D.C. metro area has the best-educated black population of the cities, boasting the highest percentage of high school and college graduates.

The No. 2 pick, Atlanta, GA, continues to impress. The city is home to 64,000 black-owned businesses and continues to offer extensive entrepreneurial opportunities. No. 3, Raleigh-Durham, NC, boasted a 3.4% rise in job growth, the highest employment statistic among the cities ranked. Rounding out the 10 best cities for African Americans list is: No. 4, Houston, TX; No. 5, Nashville, TN; No. 6, Dallas, TX; No. 7, Charlotte, NC; No. 8, Indianapolis, IN; No. 9, Columbus, OH; and No. 10, Jacksonville, FL.

BE’s 2007 list revealed some major differences from its 2001 and 2004 lists. All three lists have five cities/regions in common: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, and the Washington, D.C. metro area. This year’s list and the list from 2004 share Nashville, TN, and Columbus, OH. However, three cities from 2004 failed to make this year’s ranking: Birmingham, AL; Baltimore, MD; and Memphis, TN. Birmingham’s residents didn’t give as strong a response as they had for the last list, and the residents of Baltimore and Memphis cited dissatisfaction with several key living standards.

Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Raleigh-Durham were newcomers in the 2007 ranking. For the third consecutive time, major metropolitan areas such as New York and Los Angeles didn’t meet the criteria. Chicago and Philadelphia, which appeared on our 2001 list, failed to return. Residents of these urban hubs continue to be disenchanted with nagging social problems, including the high cost of living, rising crime rates, and substandard public schools.

Just as in 2004, the South continues to be the region of choice with representation from eight cities-two from North Carolina; two from Texas; one each from Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee; and the Washington, D.C., metro area. The career mobility, affordable housing, and overall quality of life found in Southern cities appeal to the black families that live and work there.

The May 2007 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE, complete with full profiles and key statistics for each city, is available on newsstands April 17.

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